New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday allowed the Centre to initiate a probe into allegations of corruption against senior Enforcement Directorate (ED) official Rajeshwar Singh who is probing the Aircel-Maxis case, saying they were “serious and required to be looked into".
“As a matter of fact, when there are allegations, whether right or wrong against you (Singh), it has to be looked into. You can’t be given a blanket clean chit. Everybody is accountable. There are very serious allegations against you," the bench said after perusing documents placed before it in a sealed cover by the centre.
A two-judge vacation bench of the apex court comprising justices Arun Mishra and S.K. Kaul was hearing a plea by Rajneesh Kapur, who says he is an investigative journalist, seeking a probe against Singh for allegedly amassing assets which are disproportionate to his known source of income.
The bench clarified that it would be the Centre’s decision whether Singh would continue to be part of the Aircel-Maxis investigation.
Additional solicitor general Vikramjit Banerjee informed the court that the Centre was willing to investigate the allegations that Singh amassed disproportionate assets and take the Aircel-Maxis investigation to its logical conclusion.
The Enforcement Directorate in its statement on the court ruling said, “Dr. Rajeshwar Singh received a call in 2016 from a person based out of Dubai who gave important information regarding a case being investigated by the Enforcement Directorate. Dr. Rajeshwar Singh, being a responsible officer with outstanding career records, passed on this information to the Directorate and the same was used in the investigation of the case. It is important to note that he received only one call and that too it was an incoming call from this person in Dubai."
In response, Singh has filed a separate contempt plea against Kapur claiming that the corruption allegation against him is an attempt to delay the ongoing probe in the Aircel Maxis case.
In November last year, the court restrained the Centre from initiating any action against Singh based on anonymous complaints against him.
After former telecom ministers A. Raja and Dayanidhi Maran were acquitted by a special CBI court in the 2G scam case and Aircel-Maxis deal case, respectively, the Supreme Court in December last year asked the CBI and ED to wrap up all 2G-related probes, including the Aircel-Maxis scam, within six months.
Shaswati Das and PTI contributed to the story.